Knobs/ macro-mappable inputs?

I use a lot of knobs while producing music, mostly on midi controllers. Just thought about how cool it would be to have those same knobs, perhaps smaller or more suited to the Framework laptop, meant to be modular like how the numpad is.
These could also be mapped to different things, like the system volume, brightness, night mode tint, individual app outputs, etc. Could be very cool if there are good haptics too, to give a more rounded and complete feel to the knobs and buttons.

I have had similar thoughts, but the problem seems to be there is no space for knobs in the space available for the keyboard, it is too thin.


Shallow knobs :slight_smile:

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It’s the encoder for the knobs that would be hard to fit. Though I recall running across some very thin encoders, I’ll try to find them again and see if they are thin enough.


hall encoders might be thin enough

But I don’t think you could easily use a hall effect encoder with QMK, the firmware other input modules are using. There is no built-in function for hall effect sensors. You’d have to add in a custom function. Whereas a mechanical encoder, you just drop it in and it works. I know Ploppy co has a custom function for optical encoders, but I don’t imagine it would be easy to create one of them which fits.

So you guys think it could be possible? If this were really possible it would be really cool to have. It would allow to have the numpad part of the keyboard with knobs and other controllers and use it for live music effects or even to facilitate music and video editing on the go, without the need of carrying an external usb device.

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There isn’t? Thought there was but anyway, custom module doesn’t sound like an unassailable obstacle in case there aren’t any mechanical encoders that low profile.

Depends on what people would want, what they would pay for such a module, and how many people would buy one. Like what kind of dial resolution people want or need. Could maybe fit a 15 position-per-rotation dial. Two of them and a couple of buttons perhaps.

Max input module height was said to be 3.7mm so that makes selection of components harder. The very limited height will likely also require more expensive extra thin PCBs, also makes designing and building it harder. It wouldn’t be cheap.

That sounds cool, I know it may be a bit of a difficulty on the hardware side but we’ve seen framework do unimaginable stuff before. The compactness of it all might be a problem though yeah.